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Musaeum Hermeticum

Title page of a 1678 edition at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Frontispiece of the Musaeum Hermeticum

Musaeum Hermeticum ("Hermetic library") is a compendium of alchemical texts first published in German, in Frankfurt, 1625 by Lucas Jennis.[1] Additional material was added for the 1678 Latin edition, which in turn was reprinted in 1749.

Purpose

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Its purpose was apparently to supply in a compact form a representative collection of relatively brief and less ancient alchemical writings; it could be regarded as a supplement to those large storehouses of Hermetic learning such as the Theatrum Chemicum, or Jean-Jacques Manget's Bibliotheca Chemica Curiosa. It seemed to represent a distinctive school in Alchemy, less committed to the past and less obscure than the works of older and more traditional alchemical masters.[2]

Title

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The full Latin title is: "Musæum Hermeticum, omnes sopho-spagyricæ artis discipulos fidelissime erudiens, quo pacto summa illa veraque Medicina, qua res omne, qualemcumque defectum patientes, instaurari possunt (quæ alias Benedictus Lapis Sapientum appellatur) inveniri ac haberi queat inveniri ac haberi queat. Continens tractatus chymicos novem præatantissimos, quorum nomina et seriem versa pagella indicabit. In gratiam filiorum doctrinæ, quibus Germanicum Idioma ignotum, in Latinum conversum ac juris publici factum. Jennis"

Content

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First edition (1625)

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The first edition contained:

  1. The Remonstrances of Nature ascribed to Jean de Meung
  2. The Twelve Keys of Basil Valentine
  3. Subtle Allegory (Michael Maier)
  4. Three Treatise of Philalethes
  5. The Book of Alze
  6. Open Entrance to the Closed Palace - Philalethes
  7. A Tract of Great Price
  8. The Only True Way
  9. The Testament of Cremer
  10. The Glory of the World
  11. The Waterstone of the Wise
  12. The Golden Tract concerning the Philosopher's Stone

The illustrated book contains 445 + 35 pages.

"Spirit and Soul are acting as child and guide" from the Musaeum Hermeticum, 1678 Edition, Science History Institute

1678 edition

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The 1678 edition is 863 pages long, and includes:[3]

  1. Aureus tractatus de philosophorum lapide
  2. Aureum seculum redivivum
  3. Hydrolithus sophicus
  4. Aquarium sapientum
  5. Demonstratio naturae, quam errantibus chymicis facit
  6. Via veritatis unicae
  7. Elegans, perutile et praestans opusculum, viam veritatis aperiens
  8. Gloria mundi, aliâs, paradysi tabula
  9. Vera priscae scientiae descriptio
  10. De lapide philosophico tractatus eximius
  11. Lambsprinck nobilis germani philosophi antiqui libellus De lapide philosophico
  12. De lapide philosophico
  13. Tripus Aureus
  14. Tres tractatus chymici selectissimi
  15. Basilii Valentini, benedictini ordinis monachi, Germani, practica una cum 12. clavibus et appendice
  16. Practica cum duodecim clavibus et appendice, de magno lapide antiquorum sapientum
  17. Testamentum cremeri, abbatis westmonasteriensis, angli, ordinis benedictine
  18. Novum lumen chemicum, e naturae fonte et manuali experientia depromptum
  19. Introitus apertus, ad occlusum regis palatium
  20. Subtilis allegoria super secreta chymiae perspicuae utilitatis et iucundae meditationis
  21. Philalethae tractatus tres
  22. Metallorum metamorphosis
  23. Brevis manuductio ad rubinum coelestum
  24. Fons chymicae veritatis
  25. Vitulus aureus

References

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  1. ^ See German Wikipedia, Lucas Jennis
  2. ^ Arthur Edward Waite (1893). "Preface - THE GOLDEN TRACT concerning the Stone of the Philosophers, by an Anonymous German Adept". The Hermetic Museum. Vol. 1. p. 5–50.
  3. ^ "Othmer Library Catalog Entry". Science History Institute.
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Musaeum Hermeticum
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